A few days ago, I came across an article from DadsforLife which struck a chord with me.
It's titled 'When you comin' home, Dad?' and talks about how we Dads are sometimes too caught up with our jobs and miss the growing up years of our beloved children. And by the time we really want to spend time with them, we realise they are all grown up and lead their own rightful lives.
Will it all be too late by then?
In the article, the song 'Cat's In The Cradle' by Harry Chapin song was mentioned.
I have heard it on the radio more than a dozen times in my life but somehow I have never really tried to catch the lyrics of the song.
I found the video on YouTube and listened it from start to finish, with an eye on the lyrics.
I was saddened by the song.
"My child arrived just the other day
He came to the world in the usual way"
I remember when Ash was just born, the first thing I resolved to do was to be hands-on with everything. From the diaper-changing, bathing to the playing and napping, I was there.
And it was well worth it.
"But there were planes to catch and bills to pay
He learned to walk while I was away
And he was talkin' 'fore I knew it"
But if there was one thing I would never do, it was never to be like the father in the song.
"My son turned ten just the other day
He said, Thanks for the ball, Dad, come on let's play
Can you teach me to throw,
I said, Not today. I got a lot to do
He said, That's ok"
But I have to admit. It's tough.
It's tough to sometimes put down the work on your hands. And yes, I am also guilty of it when I am in front of my computer. Sometimes, it isn't even work-related.
I hear 'Papa!', and my first instinct is to reply, 'Not now, I'm busy.'
So now, I have these lyrics etched in my mind whenever I feel like turning them away.
"I've long since retired, my son's moved away
I called him up just the other day
I said, I'd like to see you if you don't mind
He said, I'd love to, Dad, if I can find the time
You see my new job's a hassle and kids have the flu
But it's sure nice talking to you, Dad
It's been sure nice talking to you"
Time truly flies, especially when one's not looking. My kids are growing day by day, and those childhood moments fleet past ever so fast if I am not careful.
Fond childhood memories would be the best gift that the wifey & I could ever give to Ash, Ayd & Ale. And hopefully, those same memories would end up being the ones that they would treasure most for the rest of their lives.
Because quite frankly, I dread to end up like the father in the song.
"And the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man on the moon
When you comin' home son?
I don't know when, but we'll get together then dad
You know we'll have a good time then"
That just gave me the perfect reason to to plan for the next holiday! :D